Densification by Design

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för arkitektur och byggd miljö

Abstract: In order to achieve sustainable development, there is perhaps not one strategy more often used in contemporary urban planning than density. Many cities have a dedicated densification strategy of their inner city, such as HafenCity in Hamburg or Älvstaden in Gothenburg. However, one critique of contemporary architecture is how new urban developments are becoming generic; more and more similar to each other, no matter where in the world the project is located. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to explore the concept of city density, and to try to understand if there is any tension between increasing density and withholding a city’s character and identity. Density can be measured in many different ways, one of which is the Spacemate multivariable method. Spacemate measures an area in terms of the built intensity, its compactness, the amount of public space and the average building heights. The purpose of the thesis is to use the Spacemate as a design tool, in order to test how density can shape an urban design proposal. The city of Utrecht has been chosen for these questions to be researched.

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